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View Diary: Overnight News Digest -- "Lies and Skinny Mice" Edition (42 comments)

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  •  "Dead Or Alive, You're Coming With Me" (11+ / 0-)

    Here's the trailer for the remake of Paul Verhoven's RoboCop.

    Helmed by Brazilian director José Padilhal, and starring Joel Kinnaman (probably best known as Detective Holder on "The Killing") as Alex Murphy, the film has Murphy being horrifically injured and then used by Omnicorp in the RoboCop program.

    In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.
    I'm a fan of the original film and I'm not encouraged at all by this trailer. Similar to the recent remake of one of Verhoven's other science fiction films (i.e. Total Recall), some of the things that have been released about the story direction chosen for this remake makes me question whether those involved even got the themes that made the original movie memorable. One of the major plot points of the 1987 film was the dehumanization of Alex Murphy (and life in general) by Omni Consumer Products (OCP). It's a major moment in the original film when the visor is removed & you see what's left of Murphy's face.

    On the DVD commentary for the film, Verhoven & the writers talk about the scene towards the end of the film where RoboCop/Murphy asks Lewis about his family. Peter Weller plays the scene by having RoboCop/Murphy sit in silent torture, but on the commentary they talk about how when Armand Assante auditioned for the role, he got down on the floor & screamed, and how wrong it was for the character.

    RoboCop is an odd '80s action film that really works & has a lot of levels to it. On first blush, some people would dismiss the movie as just a "violent action flick." However, Verhoven infused the film with some great social commentary on government & corporations.

    • "Shifts In Tax Structure Have Made The Economy Ideal For Corporate Growth." - That line is spoken by Omni Consumer Products' "Old Man" (Dan O'Herlihy). He also notes that Detroit has been impacted by this, with schools, police departments, and other public services suffering because of those shifts. OCP's ED-209 and RoboCop programs are his way of "giving back" (and cleaning things up just enough for OCP to take over Detroit & build their private Delta City).
    • Privatizing Government Services - The Detroit Police Department has been contracted out to OCP in 'RoboCop.' A strike looms, and in order to get candidates for RoboCop, OCP restructured the police department to put prime candidates in high risk areas. Also, there's Directive 4.
    • "Who Cares If It Worked Or Not?!?!?!" - ED-209 is a commentary on absurd product design. Specifically, when companies design something to look good/pretty/tough/etc. and forget to make sure it actually works well. Of course, "who cares if it works" if you get to sell upgrades & replacement parts to the same suckers who bought the damn thing!

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